Crash Test Dummies

Meet the family

Hybrid III, EuroSID-II, BioRID-II and the child dummies Q1½ and Q3 are dedicated to discovering what happens to victims of serious crashes

Hybrid III, EuroSID-II, BioRID-II and the child dummies Q1½ and Q3 are dedicated to discovering what happens to victims of serious crashes

Hybrid III, EuroSID-II, BioRID-II and the child dummies Q1½ and Q3 are dedicated to discovering what happens to victims of serious crashes.

These dummies have been involved in consumer and regulatory crash testing for many years and are designed to represent the dimensions, weight distribution and joint structure/flexibility of humans.

High speed video is used to record the movement of the dummies in crash tests while an extensive array of sensors is used to record the impact forces, deceleration forces and deflection/bending experienced by different parts of the dummy's body during the test.

Hybrid-III and EuroSID-II

A Hybrid-III crash test dummy after a Euro NCAP crash test


To achieve a high overall rating the car must deliver a balanced performance across all four areas: adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, pedestrian protection and safety assist.

The crash test dummies Hybrid III and EuroSID-II have experienced dozens of crashes first-hand - Hybrid-III was introduced as long ago as 1976.

They both have a steel skeleton covered with a rubber skin and are packed with sensors for recording collision data. Each costs more than £100,000 to build.

For the front impact, Hybrid-III sits belted in both the driver and front passenger seat. In size and weight, he is Mr Average, but adjustments to the information provided are made to take account of different driver sizes.

EuroSID-II, was purpose-developed in Europe for side-impact testing. He sits in the driver's seat for the side impact and optional pole impact tests. Except for the head, his instrumentation is different.

Child dummies

Q1½ and Q3 are child-sized dummies. They are the size and weight of a typical 18-month-old and three-year-old respectively.

They sit in the rear in child restraints recommended by the car manufacturer for each car tested.

The Anatomy of a Dummy

Each dummy has rubber 'flesh' over a rigid skeleton that mimics parts of human bone structure. For testing, they are clothed to reduce friction. Internal sensors are wired to recording equipment carried in the rear of the car.

The equipment they contain is extremely sensitive so temperatures must be monitored and carefully controlled - if they get too cold or too hot they could give inaccurate data. After every few tests, dummies are examined and re-certified.

Body parts

Each part of a dummy is fitted with sensors for recording information to indicate the type and severity of injury that could be suffered by a human occupant in the same crash.


The head is made of aluminium and covered with rubber 'flesh'. It contains three accelerometers set at right angles, each providing data on the forces and accelerations the brain would be subjected to in a crash.


Measuring devices detect the bending, shearing and tension forces on the neck as the head is thrown forwards and backwards during the impact.


There's no instrumentation in the arms as serious injuries are rare and worthwhile protection very difficult.

Chest (front impact)

Sensors record the deflection of Hybrid-III's steel rib cage in the frontal impact. Injuries result if forces on the chest are too great.

EuroSID-II in a Euro NCAP pole impact test


Chest (side impact)

EuroSID-II, has a completely different chest, with three ribs instrumented to record chest compression and the velocity of this compression.


EuroSID-II has sensors to record forces likely to cause abdominal injury.


EuroSID-II has instruments in its pelvic girdle to record lateral forces that could result in fractures or hip-joint dislocation.

Upper leg

Load cells in the femur (thigh) provide information in front-impact tests on likely injury to all sections, including the hip joint which can suffer from fractures and dislocations.

An instrument called a 'knee-slider' is used to measure forces transmitted through the dummy's knees, particularly if they hit the lower facia.

Lower leg

Instruments measure bending, shear, compression and tension, allowing injury risks to the tibia (shin-bone) and fibula (bone connecting knee to ankle) to be assessed.

Feet and ankles

These are not instrumented. Assessment of injuries is based on how badly the car is damaged in the footwell area.

Whiplash/rear impact

BioRID-II in a rear impact 'whiplash' test with the seat mounted on a sled


The BioRID-II dummy was created specifically to assess seats and head restraints in rear impact.

based in part on the Hybrid-III, this rear impact dummy has a specially designed vertebral column (spine) with 24 separate vertebra: 5 lumbar (lower spine), 12 thoracic, and 7 cervical (neck).


(updated 19 April 2013)